Musician playing at Berlin Wall Art Gallery

The Berlin Wall Eastside Gallery – Photo Essay

If you hate waiting in long queues to get into over-priced galleries and museums, then you’re in luck. In Berlin you get a free outdoor gallery along with a big chunk of 20th Century history, all for free.

The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long section of the wall running along the Mühlenstrasse and the bank of the river Spree in former East Berlin. With more than 100 paintings by artists from all over the world, the memorial for freedom is apparently the largest open-air gallery in the world.

The gallery is close to the Ostbahnhof S-Bahn station on the west side and the Warschauer Straße S+U-Bahn station on the east side. Walk over Oberbaumbrücke, arguably the most beautiful bridge in Berlin and the only connection between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Once you’re over the river, take a left and you’ll find the wall right in front of you.

See below for some mural highlights:

Berlin Bridge over river to Berlin Wall Gallery

Berlin Wall Old World War Van

Berlin Wall checkpoint charlie mural

Berlin Wall gallery psychedelic mural

Berlin Wall World leaders Kiss Mural

Every panel of the 1.3km was painted by a different artist in 1991, but after years of decay many of the works were later restored.

Berlin Wall store and mural

Berlin Wall gallery smoker mural

Berlin Wall Gallery Car Mural

Berlin Wall gallery Gorbachev Mural

Berlin Wall gallery chain Mural

The gallery is a fantastic reminder of what the city has been through and it should definitely be on your to-do list. You’ll love the stroll and I bet you’ll walk away with hundreds of photos.

Soho House building Berlin Germany

SOHO House Berlin

If you’re looking for a stylish place to eat and sleep in Berlin, you could do worse than Soho House, a private, members only club in Mitte that also rents rooms and apartments to the public. It’s in a grand old corner building with a stunning roof top bar and the coziest restaurant and lounge area where I was lucky enough to get an invite for dinner.

Soho House building Berlin Germany

The Cookhouse restaurant has a very relaxed ambience with an open plan kitchen alongside the homey lounge area. It feels like a very comforting oversized lounge and kitchen in a private home, with the lounge décor that wouldn’t be out of place in the Hamptons. I felt so comfortable I was working out ways to stay there. Like forever.

Soho House Berlin Germany Luxury Hotel Room

Soho House Berlin Germany bar

Soho House Berlin pool rooftop Germany

After dinner we stepped out of the warm cocoon and headed for the rooftop, where there’s a great bar next to the swimming pool that boasts views across the rooftops of Berlin.

Note: Members have to accompany guests to the club, so the best way in is to actually stay at the hotel, which I certainly recommend.

Seville famous oldest Bullfighting ring

The History Of Bullfighting

I have to say up front that bullfighting is not my thing. Call me squeamish, but watching a bull being tormented and killed for no reason, no matter how impressive the battle, doesn’t interest me one bit. It’s cruel and senseless.Having said that I do like history. And the history and culture of matadors, their dance with death and why they are revered is interesting, and where better to learn about it than in Seville, home of the oldest bullring in Spain?

Seville's oldest famous bullring wide view

Seville famous oldest Bullfighting ring

So I took a walk to the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, the bullring that stands proudly next to the river. The museum is attached to the bullring and they have an obligatory guided tour, so I decided to visit and leave it at that.

The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, is not the largest bullring in Spain but is the oldest, dating back to 1749, and considered the most attractive. It was here that the corrida, or bullfight as we know it today, moved from horseback to foot, and many of the cherished theatrical traditions of the matador and his close quarters duel with the bull evolved.

Seville oldest famous bullring royal box

Seville oldest famous bullring inside

Seville oldest famous bullring stands

Seville oldest famous bullring Bull Pens

Perched on the stands inside the oval bullring, we were told about the history of the ring and shown the access gate where only successful bullfighters exit, and the theater box reserved for the exclusive use of Spanish Royal family.

Then we were taken to the museum under the stands where, in three distinct sections, we learned the origins of bullfighting and its evolution until today. There are art exhibits, matador costumes, old weapons and mounted heads of famous bulls.

Seville oldest famous bullring corridors

Seville oldest bullring museum displays

Seville oldest bullring museum bull exhibit

It’s more interesting than it might sound. And on the way out, you’re reminded that what a dangerous affair it was as you pass the chapel where the matadors used to pray.